How to Keep Babies Comfortable in the Car

Not every infant loves car rides, and your baby may start out enjoying them but later develop a dislike as they grow older.

You need to create a positive association for your baby with car rides by ensuring they are comfortable and happy during the journey.

You can reinforce this positive association by praising your baby when they settle without fuss during the trip and continuing the praise once you're back home or at your destination.

Make Sure Your Baby’s Car Seat Is Comfortable

Your baby’s car seat is designed to protect your baby in case of an accident and also provide your baby with a comfortable position for them to sleep in if they doze off during the drive.

Having a poor-quality car seat can make your baby’s head slump down in a chin-to-chest position that can block their airways and make them fuss during your drive.

Invest in quality car seats like those from Diono that meet baby car seat requirements and enhance your baby’s comfort even during long drives. 

When installing your car seat, follow the manufacturer's instructions to make sure that the seat is installed at the right angle and the chest straps are fastened at or below your baby’s shoulder level with the chest clips at armpit level when buckled.

If your baby continuously makes a fuss during car rides, consider visiting your local car seat installation facility to ensure everything is positioned properly because your crying baby may be trying to communicate that they are uncomfortable.

To ensure your baby’s comfort and safety, fasten the seat straps tight enough so that you can only fit one finger’s width between the strap and their body.

Keep Your Baby Cool

You may want to keep your baby warm in the cold weather, however, dressing your baby in bulky clothing like puffy jackets can prevent you from adequately tightening your baby’s seat straps and also make your baby feel too hot.

Instead, dress your baby in thin layers of clothing and cover them with a blanket over their car seat if you are driving in cold weather.

A good example of a checklist that can help you keep your baby cool and comfortable during your ride includes:
  • Cooling the car as much as possible before putting your baby in.
  • Checking the temperature of the car seats and harnesses before placing your child in especially if you left your car in the sun.
  • Using air conditioning during summer drives.
  • Giving your baby plenty of water to hydrate them and keep them cool.
  • Using shades in your rear side car windows to shield your baby from the strong sun.

Tinting your car windows not only gives your car more privacy but also blocks out UV rays from the sun to keep your car’s interior temperature cool enough for your baby.

Have Regular Pit Stops

Your baby may be fussing because they need a break from the drive to get out of their car seat and stretch.

Taking rest stops every two to three hours to get your baby out of the car seat and check on them to see if they need a diaper change can help soothe your child during drives and make journeys more pleasant for them.

Plan cooler times of the day if you are going for long drives with your infant.

A great way to have a fuss-free drive is to plan your drives around your baby’s sleep schedule so that they sleep during the drive.

If you are traveling for long hours, schedule a stop at a park or field to have a walk around with your baby to refresh yourselves before continuing with your journey.

Keeping your baby engaged with some toys or music while driving can help keep them distracted and calm during your journey.

You can even chat with them or point out sights through the window to pass the time and keep them engaged while you drive to your destination.

Explore different styles of music that distract your baby from crying and play them on your road trip to keep your baby happy and calm.

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